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[Photography Tips] Long Exposure Photography on Zenfone: How To Do It?

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Doge_So_Wow PHL Level 5 | All posts
Last edited by Doge_So_Wow on 2018/3/8 22:58

Long Exposure: How to do it and when to use it

Taken at Gil Puyat Footbridge(Zenfone 3 ZE552KL with ISO 50, 4" ss)

                     Long Exposure sound a little bit intimidating and technical, but trust me when i say it's just tweaking your settings a little bit! I'll be discussing in this guide the basics and possible scenarios where you'd want to apply this technique

Warning: technical stuff ahead. You can skip the grayed area if you want  

              Basically, long exposure is just extending the time you camera's "shutter" is open thus being able to absorb more light. The shutter is the "eyelid" of the camera and controls the amount of light that enters the camera. Shutter speed is the technical term being used here; fast shutter speeds[ex. 1/500"(the quotation sign means 'seconds' or 1/500 of a second)] is when the shutter closes very quickly which lets in lesser light but captures quicker movements such as a flying bird. Meanwhile, a slower shutter speed(ex. 1/20" or 2") lets in more light, but moving subjects appear blurred. For now, we will only be focusing on the slower shutter speed and how to use it to our advantage.


                     A must-have gear in long exposure photography is a tripod and must be done where there is no sun or any strong light source. Other accessories are optional such as a shutter release button(headphones for Zenfones) and an ND filters(will be discussed at the end of this article).

                     The drawback is that it requires you to make your camera as steady as possible while the shutter is open, thus the need for a tripod. Here is an example of how long exposure is normally setup using our tripods. The phone being used in the picture is a Zenfone 3 Laser. Thanks to my for colleagues for this pic! Special mention @Bachete


                     First, open your camera and go to manual settings. Set everything to auto EXCEPT for the ISO and Shutter Speed. You'd want to set your ISO to the lowest setting(50 or 100) and variably adjust your shutter speed depending on how strong the light source is in front of your phone. I'd recommend a 1" or 2" shutter speed first then it's up to you how you want to adjust the light intensity or "exposure" of your preference
                    Also, set the timer to 2 second because tapping the shutter button produces a slight movement which might make your shot blurry. You can also use a shutter release instead(or your headphones, just click the play/pause button to activate the shutter)


Here's the resultant image of this setup taken by @Bachete :

Taken at Gil Puyat Avenue(Zenfone 3 Laser with ISO 100, 2" ss)

                        Cool, right? Moving subjects will be blurred, as you can see how the bus is captured "moving" as it passes in front of me. We can use this blurring to denote movement or continuity. You standing still on a background of blurred, moving

elements will denote continuity, a busy world, movement, or simply for the heck of artistic value! This is one of the ways you can integrate long exposure in street photography. How about landscape photography?

A beach at Bolinao, Pangasinan(Zenfone 3 ZE552KL with ISO 400, 16" ss)

                       Long exposure gives water a silky effect as seen on this picture. Notice how the water becomes mist-like as it hits the rocks on the bottom part of the picture. This only works if there is movement in the water, like waves on the beach or a flowing river. In this picture, it was these very calm waves hitting the rocks. What if the water barely moves?

Taken at Manila Bay(Zenfone 3 ZE552KL with ISO 50, 1" ss)

                      This is the effect of long exposure on an almost still water, it cancels out those little movements and makes the water mirror-like as seen in this picture i took near Manila Bay. So that's that! I hope you learned something from this article

                      So, about the ND filter. Those are used to "darken" the lens and thus allow you to extend shutter speed time to the maximum. I recommend you guys to study the basics of photography to fully utilize ND Filters before buying one. If you do plan on buying one, i highly suggest Hoya and B+W filters because color loss is zero on this filters and are highly resistant to damage. They do come at a price though. Long exposure under daylight becomes possible, thanks to ND filters. Or you can just use ND filters to extend the light trails made by cars at night. You'd also need a generic clip lens which can be bought online.
clip 2.jpg
Here are some pictures i took using a generic 37mm 10-stop ND filter with a generic clip for 37mm lens.
Roxas Avenue at Night, near CCP(Zenfone 3 ZE552KL at ISO 50, 10" ss)
MOA Eye(Zenfone 3 ZE552KL at ISO 200, 32" ss)

PHL Level 4 | All posts

Nice by the way I am into mobile photography much is your  ND filter?
Doge_So_Wow PHL Level 5 | All posts
600 pesos but if i were to go back in time, i would've saved up for a Hoya ND Filter instead because the color loss in daylight is pretty obvious in my 600 pesos ND Filter

By the way there are 2nd hand Hoya and Schneider ND Filters all around FB and OLX
Nice share here for others with interest in mobile photography
Keep it up!
Doge_So_Wow PHL Level 5 | All posts
Thank you po! Will do share more tips in the future

PHL Level 4 | All posts
Thank you very much for sharing this article. Helps alot
Wow nice po ang galing, ask n din po ako im using zenfone 4 max, ung ahutter speed nya hanggang 3 lng, kaya di ako mk capture ng tulad nagawa nyo...any suggestion po, thanks...😊😊😊
Doge_So_Wow PHL Level 5 | All posts
ihatethisfeeling posted on 2018/4/24 17:51
Wow nice po ang galing, ask n din po ako im using zenfone 4 max, ung ahutter speed nya hanggang 3 ln ...

So yun tried it using Zen 4 Max Lite and to be frank, even with my Camera FV5, results are really different po compared when your shutter speed goes slower than 1 second

Though you can still use that blur po to you advantage
As quoted po dun sa article, blur denotes movement. That's a good and essential aspect in street photography. Like a guy standing still on a moving pedestrian lane. It'll make the rest of the peeps walking "blurred" pero yung guy na nakatayo lang will stay that way
PHL Level 1 | All posts
Bakit hanggang 1/2 lang shutterspeed ng zenfone3 ze552kl ko? Di tuloy ako makapag long exposure photography. Sad 😭😭😭
Doge_So_Wow PHL Level 5 | All posts
audiepalma2013 posted on 2019/4/22 00:45
Bakit hanggang 1/2 lang shutterspeed ng zenfone3 ze552kl ko? Di tuloy ako makapag long exposure phot ...

Hi. I used the same phone(Zenfone 3 ZE552KL) for taking these shots, and i can assure na up to 32 yung shutter speed niya. Can i ask if ZE552KL talaga siya or other variant ng Zenfone 3 series? Like Zenfone 3 Laser or Zenfone 3 Max siya? kase those two, as far as i know, can only have 1/2s shutter speed
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